The ads that chase you around the web

Have you noticed recently that some companies seem to be advertising much more than normal on the web? Everywhere you go, you see the same adverts. Well, almost inevitably, it’s not what it seems. It’s called remarketing, and while you might be seeing the same ads over and over again, other people aren’t. You’ve been targeted.

Here’s how it works. An advertiser sets up a banner ad campaign which can run across a broad range of sites. The easiest way of doing this is to use Google AdWords and the tens of thousands of sites it has in its “Display Network”. Next, the advertiser puts special tags on specific pages on its own site, indicating which ads in its inventory were relevant to that page. Then, when you visit one of those pages, you’re marked as being interested in whatever was on that page (let’s say widgets). From that point on, whenever you visit a page anywhere on the web which is running Google Display Network ads, the algorithm might very well decide to show you the advertiser’s widget ad. That’s because it’s far more likely that you’ll click on an ad which is pointing to a site which you’re known to have visited before. Effectively, the ads chase you around the web.

As an advertiser, can you take advantage of this eye-popping technology? Indeed you can. It takes a bit of thinking through, but if you’re running a Google AdWords campaign on the Display Network, you should be investigating it.

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